DISCIPLINED: Ismail Esau, right
The vice principal of Vista High School in Bo-Kaap has been charged with discrimination by the Western Cape Education Department after displaying anti-Zionist posters to pupils from a visiting Jewish school.

Learners from Herzlia High School in Vredehoek laid the complaint about the lesson during a social exchange programme last week.

Mr Ismail Esau had displayed posters during his lesson that read: “Israel is a terrorist state and guilty of ethnic cleansing in Palestine” and “Yes to Judaism, No to Zionism”.

He had apparently tried to educate the pupils about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Following Herzlia’s complaint to the WCED, he was charged with discrimination, or alternatively, improper conduct, and insubordination.

CONTROVERSIAL: Posters shown at learner exchange programme

His hearing with WCED officials took place on Thursday, and it’s understood a decision will be made next week.

Mr Esau has refused to speak to the Daily Voice, saying he will hold a press conference next week.

Herzlia has also refused to comment on the matter.

The two schools have an exchange programme in which Herzlia students tutor struggling learners at Vista.

Herzlia pupils are also involved in an upgrade project of the Vista library and playground.

The organisation, Hands Off Our Teachers, has now come forward in defence of Esau, and say they will wait for the WCED’s decision on the matter before taking any action, said the chairperson Osman Shaboodien.

“We are currently busy working on our strategy to assist Mr Esau and ensure he is treated fairly,” he said.

The director of communications for the WCED, Paddy Attwell, confirmed Esau faced a disciplinary hearing on Thursday.

TROUBLE: Vice-principal of Vista High School in Bo-Kaap

“The charges follow an investigation into a complaint the teacher allegedly targeted visiting learners from Herzlia High School, because of their background,” said Atwell.

“The learners from Herzlia were involved in a social service programme at the school.

“According to the Employment of Educators’ Act, misconduct includes discriminating against anyone on the basis of their religion, belief, culture and political opinion, among other grounds.

“The hearing will determine whether the teacher acted in an improper way by allegedly using posters to target the visiting learners and teachers.”

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